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The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Communicable Disease Service (CDS) has been receiving and processing Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) messages since 2001. CDS is one of the few programs nationwide that has mandated ELR in its reportable communicable disease regulations (N.J.A.C. 8:57). In addition, the DOH has incorporated by reference the CDC-recommended HL7 standards in the regulations, in accordance with CDC recommendations. Since October 2006, all inbound ELR messages are in HL7 version 2.3.z, or 2.3.1 and then are processed and stored as HL7 2.5.1 messages, using Rhapsody/Symphonia. None of New Jersey’s four major commercial laboratories or the hospitals already sending ELR to DOH is using this version. As a result, no testing has so far been done using version HL7 2.5.1.
- I am a private or eligible provider (CMS). How do I send ELR to DOH for MU?
At this point, DOH is not accepting ELR from private providers. All the major commercial laboratories in New Jersey are already sending ELR to DOH for the reportable diseases as defined in N.J.A.C. 8:57. Providers are requested to cooperate with public health investigations by providing information to lab, state and local health department staff who investigate these reports.
- I am a hospital. How do I send ELR to DOH for MU?
At this point, DOH does not have the required resources to work with individual hospitals to test their ability to send ELR for meeting MU requirements. However, hospitals can prepare their systems to generate a test file that meets ALL the requirements described in the NJDOH ELR Technical Manual. As soon as resources become available, DOH will work with hospitals that meet all the DOH reporting requirements.
- I am currently sending ELR to DOH for inclusion in the Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS). Do I fulfill MU criteria?
As the current ELR system used by DOH meets the MU specified format of HL7 2.3.1 or HL7 2.5.1, you are probably meeting the MU requirements. However, in order to fully comply with MU, the EHR system used for generating the ELR has to be certified. (Please see ONC Authorized Certification bodies )
Please see the NJDOH Communicable Disease Services’ Electronic Laboratory Reporting Technical Manual for greater detail on the acceptable files formats, mode of electronic submission, and test plan for ELR.